Watering Wisely

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With inevitable dry spells ahead of us during the hot summer months, you may choose to water your lawn grass.  And for newly planted (2 years) trees, shrubs and perennials there is no choice – you MUST water sufficiently in order for them to thrive.  As with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to water.  You can call our experts any time for free advice on watering (and any other gardening topic, of course!) but in the meantime, here are some good rules of thumb to consider.

Trees:  To ensure vigorous growth of your trees, Mother Nature’s contribution may not be sufficient.  The first two summers after planting are the most crucial and require heavy waterings, as often as 2-3 times per week, depending on rainfall.  A manual hand-watering with a garden hose for your trees is the best choice since water can be delivered directly to the base – be sure to water thoroughly and deeply!  Running a very slow, steady stream of water with the hose right at the base for about 10 minutes to soak the root ball.  If your hose will not reach the tree, try using a bucket or container with a very small hole punched at the bottom – place it at the base and the resulting slow drip with make sure each drop of water is utilized!  Another option is one of our Gator Tree Bags – a watering bag created especially for use with this slow-drip method!

Lawns:  With smaller lawns, you’ll find manually watering is easiest. Strong, consistent growth of your grass is essential for a lush green color and to help with weed suppression, too.  Automatic irrigation sprinkler systems that supply regulated water are often the best option for a larger lawn.  Remember that standard garden sprinklers do not usually water deeply enough to be effective.

Landscape Shrubs & Perennials:  Newly planted shrubs and perennials often require regular watering, often 2-3 times per week, depending on local rainfall.  The key is to maintain moisture levels and not allow the newly developing root system to dry out before its roots have time to spread out into the surrounding soil.  Be sure to give it a drink though, not a deluge!   Over-watering can cause root rot or failure to thrive.

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